Journal Articles

Aspirin Exposure Reveals Novel Genes Associated with Platelet Function and Cardiovascular Events

July 03, 2013

Aspirin Exposure Reveals Novel Genes Associated with Platelet Function and Cardiovascular Events. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. E-pub July 3, 2013. Deepak Voora, MD, Derek Cyr, PhD, Joseph Lucas, PhD, Jen-Tsan Chi, MD, PhD, Jennifer Dungan, PhD, Timothy A. McCaffrey, PhD, Richard Katz, MD, L. Kristin Newby, MD, MHS, William E. Kraus, MD, Richard C. Becker, MD, Thomas L. Ortel, MD PhD, Geoffrey S. Ginsburg, MD PhD.

Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy, Duke University, Durham, NC; Department of Medicine, Duke University, Durham, NC; Department of Medicine, Division of Genomic Medicine, The George Washington University/Medical Faculty Associates, Washington, DC; Department of Cardiology, The George Washington University/Medical Faculty Associates, Washington, DC; David H. Murdock Research Institute, NC Research Campus.

Objectives

The aim of this study was to develop ribonucleic acid (RNA) profiles that could serve as novel biomarkers for the response to aspirin.

Background

Aspirin reduces death and myocardial infarction (MI), suggesting that aspirin interacts with biological pathways that may underlie these events.

Methods

Aspirin was administered, followed by whole-blood RNA microarray profiling, in a discovery cohort of healthy volunteers (HV1) (n = 50) and 2 validation cohorts of healthy volunteers (HV2) (n = 53) and outpatient cardiology patients (OPC) (n = 25). Platelet function was assessed using the platelet function score (PFS) in HV1 and HV2 and the VerifyNow Aspirin Test (Accumetrics, Inc., San Diego, California) in OPC. Bayesian sparse factor analysis identified sets of coexpressed transcripts, which were examined for associations with PFS in HV1 and validated in HV2 and OPC. Proteomic analysis confirmed the association of validated transcripts in platelet proteins. Validated gene sets were tested for association with death or MI in 2 patient cohorts (n = 587 total) from RNA samples collected at cardiac catheterization.

Results

A set of 60 coexpressed genes named the “aspirin response signature” (ARS) was associated with PFS in HV1 (r = −0.31, p = 0.03), HV2 (r = −0.34, Bonferroni p = 0.03), and OPC (p = 0.046). Corresponding proteins for the 17 ARS genes were identified in the platelet proteome, of which 6 were associated with PFS. The ARS was associated with death or MI in both patient cohorts (odds ratio: 1.2 [p = 0.01]; hazard ratio: 1.5 [p = 0.001]), independent of cardiovascular risk factors. Compared with traditional risk factors, reclassification (net reclassification index = 31% to 37%, p ≤ 0.0002) was improved by including the ARS or 1 of its genes, ITGA2B.

Conclusions

RNA profiles of platelet-specific genes are novel biomarkers for identifying patients who do not respond adequately to aspirin and who are at risk for death or MI.

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